Voting Options for Canadians

July 05, 2021
Ottawa Journal (July 05 – July 09, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

Within a democratic country, the vote is a pivotal aspect of the entire political process and citizens are empowered to choose their representatives at every level of government. Unfortunately, the number of people who actively exercise their right to vote within Canada is declining. Action must be taken to reverse this negative trend and increase the number of Canadians involved in the electoral process. To that end, Elections Canada has a number of voting initiatives designed to make casting your ballot easier than ever.

First of all, Elections Canada holds a number of advanced polling days each year that enable voters to vote in the days preceding an election at their convenience. The exact dates of early polling days are released closer to election time on a riding by riding basis.

Furthermore, any elector who cannot or does not wish to vote at the polling station within their riding can cast their vote by special ballot. With a special ballot the elector can mail in their vote from anywhere within or outside of Canada. The special ballot process, however, is slightly different than voting in person and the elector must abide by a few simple rules:
  • Register to vote by special ballot no later than 6PM on the Tuesday before election day.
  • The elector must obtain the names of the candidates within their riding. Voting by special ballot is done by indicating the name of the candidate you wish to support, not simply the party.
  • If you are voting from outside of your electoral district, you must ensure that your special ballot arrives at Elections Canada, in Ottawa, no later than 6PM on polling day.
In order to register to vote by special ballot one must register with Elections Canada by sending an Application for Registration and Special Ballot form. This form can be requested in person, by mail, by phone or by fax from any office of the returning officer or Elections Canada in Ottawa. The form is also available for download from the Elections Canada website and is also available at all Canadian embassies, high commissions and consular offices. Once registered the elector receives a personalized special ballot voting kit and follows the simple instructions contained within.

Thanks to Elections Canada voting is now easier than ever. Regardless of location, I encourage everyone to take advantage of these programs and get out and vote at the next election. For more information on any of these programs, or voting in general, please visit or contact any of my constituency offices.